a woman sitting outside the Quetta Press Club, demanding justice for Malik Naaz and her daughter Bramsh

By Maqbool Jafar

“Malik Naaz we salute your bravery,” shouted protesters marching along the road in Quetta, holding placards. Dozens of protesters had collected on Friday in front of the Quetta Press Club to publicly denounce the barbarous killing of a woman Malik Naaz and for injuring her daughter Bramsh Baloch.

The protesters demanded that justice must be done with the family of Malik Naaz immediately and that no stone be unturned in helping the bereaved family receive access to justice.

Even in Baluchistan which has remained under conflict for decades now, it is not common to see direct armed assaults on women and children, but on the night of May 26 in Dannuk, a village in Kech, Turbat, at least two armed men burst into a house where the family was sleeping. Opening indiscriminate fire the men ended up in killing Malik Naaz, and leaving her four year old daughter Bramsh injured and motherless.

Upon the protests of the family as well as the community members, one suspect was arrested, while the other absconded at the time. But the local police claims that that the other suspect has also been arrested and said that the incident was that of a robbery. The community does not necessarily agree with this.

Since then, there has been restlessness in the region, and since a few days, a wave of protests across Baluchistan has taken place.

From Quetta to Gwadar there have been protests and rallies that are demanding justice for the family and for the killing of Malik Naaz.

In the protest outside Quetta, several social workers, civil society activists, and political parties took part.

Shumaila Ismail, member of the Baloch National Party (BNP) spoke to Voicepk.net and said that the issue was not a ‘secret’ anymore. “Everyone can see what happened, the way the privacy of women inside their home was violated, and a young woman was murdered by armed men,” she said. “That woman was defending her family and her children with utmost bravery and courage and she was plainly shot dead in front of her children,” she added.

“This murder is being directly connected to the State,” said Hameeda Hazara, a human rights activist. “When such killings happen and why does not the State even try to arrest those responsible.”

Student leader Mahrang Baloch said that the time had come when the Government must take action against such elements.

“Bramsh and Malik Naaz have become symbols against the tyranny and the terrorism that has infected Baluchistan since ages,” she said. “Some names have also surfaced. Malik Naaz’s incident has sparked something in Baluchistan. Here is a woman who is defending her home, her family, and she tells armed and dangerous men that, no I will not let you into my house, after which she is shot blankly. This sacrifice by Malik Jaan has united the whole of Baluchistan. We demand that they be arrested and be tried and given punishment.”

She said that they had all gathered there to pay tribute to the sacrifice that Malik Naaz had made and to stand in solidarity with Bramsh, so that the Government does not think that they are alone.

“We will not allow the Government to bury this matter like they did with the Baluchistan University scandal, and the Tootak incident. We will keep reminding them about innocent people being hurt and killed like this,” she added.

KARACHI PROTEST

 

Lawyers and civil society gathered in masses outside the Karachi Press Club on Friday where they demanded justice for the family. The protestors demanded that the State should remove the fear and terror that the people of the province have and blamed elements of the State for this incident.